Travel Advisories

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The Ministry of Health in Dominican Republic has reported 780 cases of cholera since January 2016, this is a significant increase over the average incidence of cholera since 2013.   There have been over 60 cases of cholera reported a month.

Cholera cases have primarily been reported in Santiago de los Caballeros and Cibao Norte Region.

What is cholera?

Cholera is acute infection of the intestine cause by bacteria,  The infection causes a diarrheal illness and can be mild or severe.   Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea; symptom onset is hours to 5 days post exposure. In severe cases, fatality’s do occur but are much less with treatment.  Cholera is rare in developed countries but is common in undeveloped countries due to poor sanitation.  The most common cause of cholera is contaminated food and water which can cause outbreaks.

Travellers are advised to practice diligent food and water safety precautions while travelling to risk areas and travel with oral re-hydration salts in cases of severe diarrhea.   In Canada there is a vaccine to help prevent traveler’s diarrhea caused by e-coli and cholera called Dukoral.  All Travellers are advised to seek travel health advice a minimum of 4-6 weeks before travel abroad to ensure they are aware and protected against health concerns.

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caribbean-291021_640Zika Virus has now spread over most of the Caribbean Islands, as well as Central and South America.  Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes and is from the same family as the dengue and West Nile viruses.  The majority of Zika virus infection cases present with fever, headache, joint pain, fatigue, rash and conjunctivitis.  Mild symptoms may last up to 1 week, more severe symptoms are rare; fatality rate is low. All travellers returning from risk areas should seek medical advise if experiencing zika-like symptoms within 2 weeks of returning home from a risk area.

For the Traveller…

Travellers are advised to practice daytime insect precautions.  There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for Zika Virus. Pregnant Travellers in any trimester should discuss with their health care provider and travel clinic before considering travel abroad.  Some health authorities are recommending pregnant travelers or those planning pregnancy should consider postponing travel to countries where there is risk of Zika virus.  An association between Zika virus infection and microencephaly is currently under investigation.  Microencephaly in infants can cause brain damage and often leads to death.   In Brazil in 2015, Zika Virus affected 3500 babies.

Travellers should seek travel health advice a minimum of 4-6 weeks before travelling abroad.  Contact the Nova Travel Clinic today to book an appointment for consultation at 250-370-2366.

First cases of Zika Virus have been reported in:

Dominican Republic has reported it’s first cases of Zika virus.  10 locally acquired and confirmed cases of Zika virus infection have been confirmed as of January 23, 2016.

US Virgin Islands has reported 1 locally acquired and confirmed case of Zika virus infection as of January 22, 2016.

Barbados has reported it’s first cases of Zika Virus.  There have been 3 locally acquired and confirmed cases as of January 15, 2016.

Bolivia has reported it’s first case of Zika Virus.  There has been 1 locally acquired and confirmed case of Zika virus as of January 15, 2016.

Ecuador has reported it’s first cases of Zika Virus; 2 locally acquired and confirmed cases of Zika Virus as of January 15, 2016.

Guadeloupe has reported it’s first cases of Zika Virus; 2 locally acquired and confirmed cases of Zika virus since mid-January 2016

Zika Virus History…

Zika Virus was first identified in a rhesus monkey population in 1947 in Uganda.  The first human cases were reported in 1952.  It wasn’t until 2007 that an outbreak was reported in Micronesia, this was the first detection of the virus outside of Africa and Asia.    In 2013 and 2014 Zika Virus spread to French Polynesisa and some Pacific Islands.  In 2015 the largest outbreak was reported in Brazil, and spread to countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Current rapid spread of the Zika virus is due to the proliferation of the Zika virus carrier, the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

For more information please see the:

 Health Map

Public Health Agency of Canada

World Health Organization

Zika Virus Fact Sheet

 

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Dengue Fever cases increase in Hawaii; Outbreak has yet to peak

November 25, 2015

Since September 2015, Hawaii’s Department of Health has confirmed 72 cases of locally acquired dengue fever across the Big Island.  These are the first locally acquired cases of dengue fever since 2011.  10 of the 72 cases were visitors to Hawaii.   There may be additional cases of dengue fever in Hawaii who have not sought medical […]

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Malaria reported in travelers from Dominican Republic

July 30, 2015

Since late June 2015, there have been 14 confirmed cases of malaria in travelers returning from resorts in Punta Cana. What is Malaria? Malaria is a serious disease spread to humans from infected mosquitoes.  Malaria often begins with fever and flu like symptoms.  If left untreated serious forms of malaria can cause kidney failure, seizures […]

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Typhoid Fever epidemic throughout Zambia

July 6, 2015

A typhoid fever epidemic is currently occurring throughout Zambia.   Risks are higher in impoverished areas outside the capital city of Lusaka.   Cases of typhoid fever in the local population are usually under-reported. Typhoid fever is a serious and potentially fatal infection caused by the bacteria salmonella typhi.  It is spread person to person through contaminated food and water.  […]

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Typhoid Fever Cases suspected in Uganda

March 20, 2015

Since February 2015 local health authorities and the World Health Organization has reported over 2100 suspected typhoid fever cases in Kampala, Uganda.  Identified specimens include both Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi. The main sources of contamination are drinking water and juices.  The main water sources are heavily contaminated with E.coli and fecal matter. Typhoid fever […]

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Air quality hazard warning in Beijing

January 16, 2015

Since early Jan 2015 Beijing’s Municipal Government has reported an extreme increase in the air quality index in Beijing.  The air quality in all districts and southern suburban areas has reported to bee very unhealthy at a level greater than 200 (201-300 is identified as Very Unhealthy). What is the cause?  a common cause for in increase in air […]

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Chikungunya cases confirmed in Ecuador

December 29, 2014

As of December 16, 2014 the Ministry of Health in Ecuador has now confirmed 3 locally acquired cases of chikungunya.   The 3 cases of chikungunya fever have been confirmed from the Province of Manabí. Chikungunya fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.  The chikungunya mosquito, like Dengue, are daytime bitters. There is no vaccine […]

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Weekly occurences of Chikungunya in French Polynesia

December 16, 2014

The Ministry of Health in French Polynesia has reported 26, 700  suspected and locally confirmed cases of chikungunya fever since October 2014.  Approximately 9, 000 cases of chikungunya are occurring weekly and the outbreak has yet to peak.  The cases in French Polynesia have been primarily reported from Tahiti. Travellers are advised to use day time […]

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Chikungunya confirmed in Belize

November 28, 2014

Since November 21, 2014 the Pan American Health Organization has confirmed 3 locally acquired cases of chikungunya fever.  The cases were reported from the city of Belmopan. Travellers are advised to practice insect precautions.  Chikungunya is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito; this is a daytime biting mosquito. Travellers are advised to seek […]

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